As I’ve become a live feeds fan in my old age, the latest nominations on Big Brother weren’t a total shock to me. Still, it’s always great tuning into the Sunday night show just to see how it all goes down I must admit that I don’t have much to rant about this week, but James still irks me. At the top of the episode, he defended his actions of the previous week by saying that he owes nothing to anyone in the house and that it was the house guests’ own stupidity for bringing him back. No arguments there.
And yet, by the end of the episode, when James wound up on the chopping block with his annoyingly-coifed lover, Chelsia, he scoffed “I am disgusted with Adam!” Yes, according to James, he’d looked out for Adam through two different Head of Household terms, and because of that, Adam owed him. So while it’s okay for James to betray Natalie because he claims he owes nothing to nobody, it’s not okay for Adam to betray James because Adam owes James safety. Hmmm… Let me clarify: why does Adam owe anything if James owes nothing?
What’s even better is that Adam totally used James’s same rhetoric against him, saying that like Matt and Natalie the week before, Chelsia and James were entirely too dangerous in the game as a couple. Needless to say, James was not very pleased with this turn of events. But honestly, did he expect any different? This is why Big Brother is wonderful. The karma boomerang strikes again.
Now this is the part of the rant where I defend my James-rage.
It’s actually not very easy to defend the James-rage, especially considering I was a Matt fan. The simplest version is “Hey, I just don’t like him. And I liked Matt.” We’re all entitled to just LIKING someone. But that’s no fun.
The truth is that all Big Brother house guests say hypocritical things. They all act in self-serving ways, and as the game changes, they contradict themselves with their actions and statements. That’s a given.
I guess what I don’t like about James is that he doesn’t seem true to himself, and on top of that, he flaunts some sort of arrogant, sanctimonious high-ground. All these ingredients cook up memories of the Nerd Herd, that group of “good people” who truly felt they were morally elevated from the rest of the house.
Now, Matt was definitely arrogant, and he may have made sanctimonious statements, but I wouldn’t characterize him as a particularly sanctimonious guy. In fact, I think his sanctimonious statements (ie. proclamations that he respected women) were more like regrettable self-delusions. I never got the impression that he thought he was necessarily better than anyone because of those statements. Ultimately, Matt was a scheming troublemaker, and he knew that. He played it up. Why else would he flash the camera that big smile after getting a blowjob from Natalie? Classy — not really. But unexpected? No. I gotta admit: I thought it was hilarious.
Natalie, on the other hand, is fairly sanctimonious. She quotes verses (sort of) and is fond of prattling on about how James and Chelsia will be judged and this and that. Of course, her bible thumping often contrasts sharply with her behavior (ahem, drunken strip tease, blow jobs), but for some reason, her hypocrisy and sanctimoniousness doesn’t really bother me either. It’s oddly endearing. I think in Natalie’s case, it’s that she doesn’t have any arrogance about her. She also seems true to herself as well. I mean, you wouldn’t think it — what with the way her actions and words don’t quite align — but while she certainly is no innocent church-goer, she doesn’t put on airs that she’s any different than what we see.
James on the other hand is arrogant, sanctimonious, and hypocritical (smart too though), but what’s even worse is that I feel like more so than many of the other house guests (except Josh, natch), he also puts on major airs. First, he calls himself “Crazy James,” which is ridiculous because he really has done very little in terms of craziness. Yeah, he has a mohawk, and yeah, he got naked once or twice, and yeah, he wears a lot of pink, but those “crazy” actions are not above and beyond what’s expected from this household. I mean, seriously, the only thing crazy about James is that he calls himself crazy at all.
On top of that though, James lambasted his house guests for being “materialistic,” with the implication being that he himself was not materialistic. In his mind, the money would be better spent on his bicycle odyssey — an odyssey that doesn’t intend to raise money for charity. No, it’s merely to remind society that people can be nice to each other. What the? On the surface, that seems well intentioned, but honestly, WHAT DOES IT MEAN? How does biking around prove that? And how does the poster boy of niceness rationalize his vengeful behavior on Big Brother?
More objectionable though is the nifty fact that Crazy James’s bicycle adventure has been sponsored by American Apparel. That’s right, after railing against the materialism in the house, James himself is the product of sheer, unadulterated materialism. CRAZY.
Ultimately, the biggest problem with James is that there seems to be an aura of bullshit hanging around him. I’m sure that as a friend or a buddy, he’s perfectly nice and cool, but in the context of Big Brother, he’s sort of full of it. All the time. And that’s why when he does something arrogant or sanctimonious or hypocritical, it tends to annoy me more than the other windbags and preachers in the house.
I think if James were just more forthright about his motives and ambitions, he’d be way more fun to watch. There are times when he seems unapologetically brazen about his actions — such as tonight when he announced to us that he owed nothing to anyone — but then other times he just plays the victim. It’s like he wants to act like Dr. Will and take perverse joy in manipulating people, but ultimately, he takes himself too seriously.
Speaking of taking things too seriously, I think I’ll shut up now. I’m always amazed at how passionate I can become over this stuff. This is why having Big Brother on more than once a year is dangerous. So much time wasted…
What do you think?